Lentil Stuffed Peppers

My mom used to make these delicious meatloaf-stuffed bell peppers, topped with a few slices of onion and ketchup. Wow, they were yummy! I wanted to try to make one that was more of a one-dish meal incorporating lots of grains and veggies.

I have had a bag of red lentils sitting in my cupboard for about a month now, unsure of what to do with them. Of course I could just make lentils and rice, but been there, done that. Looking into my fridge and seeing an abundance of peppers, I thought I’d see how well stuffed peppers might be with the addition of brown rice and red lentils.

Red lentils have long been known for being an essential, especially in vegan diets – a one cup serving provides you with 40% of your daily needs for protein, a key that is often missing from such diets. Not only does it have muscle-building protein, but was also dubbed by Dr. Phil to be one of the top anti-aging superfoods of 2011. Lentils contain many anti-oxidants and have huge filling effects as a result of their large fiber content.

| Lentil Stuffed Peppers

1 LB lean ground beef

5 green bell peppers

1/2 C chopped onions

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 egg

1 C red lentils

I C brown rice

1 TSP salt

1/2 TSP lemon pepper

1 TSP chipotle chili powder

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees, and in a large bowl, mix the ground beef, egg, onions, garlic and spices. Meanwhile, cook your brown rice according to package directions and in a separate pot, mix the lentils with 2 C of water, adding a dash of salt and bringing to a boil. Cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes.

When the rice and lentils have finished cooking, set aside to cool. When they are fully cooled, add them into the meat mixture, mixing very well with your hands.

Cut of the very tops of the bell peppers, gutting the insides. Throw away the scraps. Place the peppers, open-side up, in an 8X8 or so 3+inch-deep baking dish, making sure they are snug so they don’t fall over while cooking. Spoon the mix into each pepper. Add a slice of onion or cheese to the top 5-10 minutes before they are done {optional}.

Pop the peppers in the oven for about an hour. After the hour is up, check to make sure the meat is done by sticking a knife in the center of your largest pepper and looking to make sure there is no red. If it is not, cook for an addition ten minutes.

Lentil Stuffed Peppers

Of course, I made an extra salad, but this dish has it all in one.

Enjoy!

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